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Do Ducks Need Toys? (How to Keep Happy Ducks)

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Have you ever seen a happy duck? Ducks are already cute normally, but when they’re happy, they are even cuter.

If you intend to keep a duck, you should know to give them enough food and water for them to thrive. You should also know how to house them properly and give them appropriate medical treatment. But beyond these, you can do even more to take care of your ducks.

So, do ducks need toys?

Ducks do not need toys but, getting your ducks toys to play with comes with benefits. They keep your ducks happy, entertained, and they can help reduce the chances of bullying amongst members of the flock.

Family of ducks walking on the street

Here are some tips on how to keep your ducks (and by extension, you) happy.

How to Entertain Ducks / How to Play With Ducks

Give Them Chew Toys

Ducks love nibbling; they will nibble on almost any item even if they do not swallow it. You can satisfy this urge to nibble by getting them chew toys.

Dog chew toys can come in handy even with ducks. So you can get them rubber bones, knotted ropes, or any toy meant for chewing. Just ensure it’s not something they might swallow and choke on.

Give Them Bells

You can hang bells in their path.

As they run around and nudge the bell, it makes noise. The noise from the bell intrigues them, and the ducks could go hours trying to spot where the sound is coming from.

Put a Mirror in Their Pen

Another way to entertain your ducks is to hang a mirror in their pen. Mirrors are a great means of distraction for ducks, and they are particularly useful if you have a lonely duck.

Give Them a Place to Swim

group of ducks swimming in a manmade pond

Ducks love swimming. They are waterfowls, after all. Provide your duck water to swim and splash in. They’ll love it.

You can get them a kiddie pool if you don’t already have one. You may also want to consider getting them one that comes with a heater so you can prevent freezing in winter.

Rubber Ducks

If you are getting your ducks a pool, you should get some rubber ducks too, and make sure they are brightly colored.

Seeing the rubber ducks float while they swim in the pool is another way to keep them happy and entertained.

Get Them Colored Cups

Another way to amuse your ducks is to give them water in colored cups. Get 2-3 cups with different colors and fill them with water. Place these cups close to your ducks and watch them get intrigued and entertained.

Get Them Small Balls

Having some small balls in the pen that they can roll around is also another source of fun for ducks.

Give Them Treats

There are many treats meant for ducks and you may be tempted to give them just any random one. But this might not be effective in making your ducks happy. Don’t give them just any treat. Make sure you give them their favorite.

Watch your ducks’ reactions to the different treats you give them. It won’t be hard to notice the one that makes them happiest.

Let Them Range Freely

group of ducks walks on the grass at sunset

Ducks love to forage, and letting them range freely allows them to do so. Of course, when you let them run freely, you have to monitor them, and this can help you bond with them.

The more time they spend with you, the lower the chances of them becoming wild and aggressive. If you are bothered that they might run off, fence your yard and hold treats in your hands.

Do Ducks Get Bored?

The answer to this is yes. Ducks are clever animals, and they do get bored. This is one reason why you have to monitor them and provide different means of entertainment for them.

When they are bored, they might spend more time alone in confined spaces. They might also be less active than normal. If your ducks act in any of these ways, and there are no signs of sickness, they might just be bored.

How Can You Tell if a Duck Is Happy?

It probably won’t be hard to tell if your duck is happy. They show various signs that are quite easy to see. Some of these signs are listed below:

  • They wag their tails.
  • They quack in excitement.
  • They bob their head up and down.
  • They shake while you pet them.
  • They rub your arm while you pet them.

Now, when your ducks are wagging their tails or bobbing their heads pay attention.

If they are wagging their tails with the tail feathers fanned out, they are most likely angry, not happy. If a duck is bobbing her head from side to side, the chances are it is reprimanding another duck.

Alone Duck resting on the shore, female wild duck

Do Ducks Get Lonely?

Ducks are quite social, and if they are left alone for too long, they might become lonely. They feel a range of emotions, just like humans. Ducks feel joy, grief, and even depression.

While you might be able to keep just one duck, having other ducks around makes it easier for them to thrive.

You’ll rarely find ducks fighting amongst themselves. Most times, they get along, and this is one reason why they enjoy each other’s company.

Final Thought

Toys are a great way to ensure that your ducks stay happy, and your ducks might just need them. Besides toys, you can entertain your ducks with a swimming pool, treats, free-ranging, and much more.